The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is seeking to acquire loitering munitions equipped with specialized seekers to locate and destroy enemy electronic warfare systems. This development underscores the increasing threat of electronic warfare capabilities, particularly from adversaries like China and Russia, and reflects a strategic shift in U.S. military focus from counter-terrorism to high-end conflict readiness.
- SOCOM’s interest is in small, potentially man-portable loitering munitions, like the UVision Hero-120 and Altius 700, equipped with a new Counter-Electronic Countermeasure Seeker (CECMS) to target enemy electronic warfare systems.
- The new seeker technology aims to adapt anti-radiation munitions, historically used against air defense radars, for smaller drones and munitions to combat electronic warfare threats.
- The desired CECMS technology would enable drones to autonomously identify and attack electronic emitters, enhancing their role in electronic warfare and expanding their operational capabilities.
- This move by SOCOM reflects a broader trend of increasing reliance on electronic support measures (ESM) and anti-radiation capabilities in military operations, especially evident in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
- The integration of CECMS onto smaller platforms indicates a strategic shift in U.S. special operations, focusing more on high-intensity conflicts and electronic warfare, moving away from their traditional counter-terrorism roles.